Local Leads: 11/26/2008

News you need to know

The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

Live real time traffic from NBCWashington.com (NBCWashington)

Travelers breezed through airport terminals Wednesday and drivers cruised open roads, the effects of a sour economy blamed for keeping people closer to home at the start of the annual Thanksgiving rush. Even though gas prices fell and airlines offered last-minute deals, many Americans appeared to be skipping trips this year. San Francisco resident Sharon McKellar called the Miami airport “shockingly quiet” after flying in overnight to visit family. (Insidenova.com)

It's wild. It's a ritual. And it's one way to save money on holiday gifts in these financially trying times. But blazing out in the early morning hours after Thanksgiving to hit stores for "door-buster" sales that often start at midnight sure isn't the only way to snag a great bargain this holiday season - as even the retailers rolling out the Black Friday deals acknowledge.  This year, you probably don't need to. The recession has made bargain hunters out of almost every consumer, and discounters of most every retailer. That's combined to make this year's Black Friday more feverish than ever, especially given the fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Retail announcements about Black Friday prices are even more widespread, and started long before anyone was talking turkey. And deep discounting is likely to increase as the close of the holiday season grows closer, retail experts say.  (USAToday)

Retailers may face as much trouble moving their merchandise online as they will in stores this holiday season. For the first time ever, online sales are down so far this month. (Wash. Business Journal)

A math teacher at Browne Academy in Alexandria has turned himself after an 8-year-old boy reported being touched by a naked man in a McLean locker room on Nov. 10. Dan Hegarty, 39, of Alexandria, is charged with indecent liberties with a child under 15. On Nov. 10, the boy reported being touched by a naked man in the locker room of the Spring Hill Recreation Center in McLean. (Fairfax Times)

A 27-year-old Capitol Heights man was arrested yesterday and charged with felony murder in the killings of a couple, both social activists, who were found dead Saturday in their house in the Chevy Chase area of the District. (Washington Post)

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has apprehended suspects in a Nov. 20 shooting in southern Frederick County along the C & O Canal, according to Cpl. Jason West.One man was injured in the shooting. Deputies conducted extensive surveillance and arrested the suspects in Emmitsburg at about 6 a.m. today on West Main Street and Fraley Road, West said. (Frederick News-Post)  

A family of three in Montgomery County needs an annual income of $68,086 to live at a minimal level, according to a report released by county officials. In 2006 -- the last year the report was completed -- the same family would have needed $61,438. For a family of four this year, an income of $79,736 is needed to live adequately. The self-sufficiency standards differ from federal poverty standards, which are based on the cost of food. The sufficiency standards include a number of costs, including housing, health care, child care and food. (Gazette)

Prince William employees will have to help decide the lesser of several evils in the coming weeks: Is it better to take a day off without pay, lose a holiday or face a salary cut? "We've had a number of employees say, I'll take a furlough day. Well, we can't furlough everyone, though," said Craig Gerhart, county executive, in a presentation to supervisors Tuesday about possible ways to cut government. On Nov. 18, supervisors agreed that budget talks for fiscal year 2010 should progress with a starting tax rate of $1.13. That amount guaranteed homeowners would see a drop in tax bills ranging from about six to 18 percent. But it also left an estimated shortfall between $26 million and $30 million. (Insidenova.com)

There are about 16,000 parking meters in D.C., and so far this year the city transportation department has received more than 100,000 complaints about them. The number of complaints reported by the citywide call center has set a record, with more than a month remaining in the calendar year. Transportation department spokesman John Lisle says the most frequent complaints include jammed meters and those that didn't register deposited money. He says most of the meters are at least 10 years old. (Examiner)

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